Sleep­ing Beau­ties

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE - MYLES McWEENEY

Jo Spain

Quer­cus, trade pa­per­back, 353 pages, €13.49

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Tom Reynolds and his wife Louise are at his old friend and former boss Sean McGuin­ness’s home when the lunch party is in­ter­rupted by an ur­gent call from one of his in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

The body of a young woman has been dis­cov­ered buried in a shal­low grave in the pop­u­lar tourist beauty spot, Glen­dalough. Reynold’s first thought is that the vic­tim might be Fiona Hol­land, a young woman re­ported miss­ing in Meath a week ago. But when he ar­rives at the scene, he and the other mem­bers of the mur­der-in­ves­ti­ga­tion group are shocked to dis­cover another four graves close by.

The bod­ies are all those of young women who dis­ap­peared in re­cent years, and the ev­i­dence sug­gests that they are deal­ing with a serial killer who hunts down vul­ner­a­ble women and holds them cap­tive for a time be­fore killing them.

The dead women are even­tu­ally iden­ti­fied af­ter an ex­haus­tive trawl through the Garda’s miss­ing per­sons files, and it is es­tab­lished that the only thing they have in com­mon is that all but one of them had a rep­u­ta­tion of en­joy­ing a good time — as, in­deed, had the miss­ing Fiona.

What fol­lows is an ex­tremely well­writ­ten po­lice pro­ce­dural with more than enough twists and turns to keep read­ers on their toes. DI Reynold’s dif­fi­cul­ties with his new boss, the un­der­achiev­ing and over­am­bi­tious Su­per­in­ten­dent Joe Kennedy — a job he’d turned down — are well drawn and be­liev­able, and prob­lems such as en­trenched at­ti­tudes and out­right misog­yny among older gar­daí are tack­led head on. This third In­spec­tor Reynolds mys­tery es­tab­lishes former Dáil eco­nomic ad­vi­sor Spain as one of our most promis­ing new thriller writ­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.